The Economic Freedom Fighters of Liberia (EFFL) has declared that President George Manneh Weah and officials of his administration are handling the affairs of Liberia inappropriately, pointing out that under Weah’s rule, the CDC-led government is dealing in mischief and deceit.
At a well-attended press conference on last Saturday, Commander-In-Chief Emmanuel C.D. Gonquoi said the EFFL is deeply concerned about unfolding situations in the country that border on what he calls the inappropriate handling of the state of affairs of Liberia, particularly regarding how President Weah and those the EFFL CIC calls the president’s band of rookies government officials are proceeding on a very wrong-footing as far as the governance of any civilized nation is concerned.
Gonquoi averred that the much publicized 16 billion in Liberian currency that is reportedly missing was rather stolen, and that the Weah administration was allegedly maneuvering to cover up and shield away from the public the actual perpetrators of what he calls broad daylight thievery
The EFFL CIC stated categorically that “processes leading to investigation regarding the LRD16 billion saga is a complete farce and a scheme cleverly being designed by President Weah and his unpatriotic officials to evade the actual issues regarding this saga and sweep same under the carpet with the intent of the perpetrators of this broad daylight thievery being left off the hook with impunity.”
“The EFFL is of the ardent belief that the Government of Liberia is cleverly dealing in mischief and deceit and is stealthily hiding something away from the public, as far as this LRD16 billion saga is concerned,” Gonquoi said, adding, “A glaring evident is the government’s deliberate attempt to employ the continual gimmick of focusing more on the legality surrounding the printing of the money than dwelling on the substantives of how the money in its totality can be accounted for, as it is not the printing of the money that is in dispute, rather, its whereabouts.”
He continued: “Even more glaring, are the boldface lies and shameless contradictory statements that keep coming out of the bellies of officials of this government that has proven to be nothing less than unfit to rule right from the start of its tenure. One minute, it’s “no money got missing.” another minute, it’s “all the monies are in the vaults of the Central Bank of Liberia,” and another minute, yes indeed monies got missing.” The EFFL wonders what kind of government that annoyingly deals in so much contradictions and shamelessly toys with feeding its citizens with untruths, lies, and misinformation.”
‘Adding insult to injury’
Gonquoi and the EFFL believes that aside from the LRD16 billion saga, the Weah administration is adding insult to the injury the 11-month-old government has already inflicted on the country and its many impoverished citizens.
“On top of the stolen billions, government continues to add insult to injury, by its mishandling and/or mismanagement of some US$25 million intended to mop out excess Liberian dollars in a bid to stabilize the fast-declining value of the local currency against the U.S. dollars, said Gonquoi, who intoned that “The EFFL believes that this whole charade of infusing US$25 million in this ailing economy that the CDC-led government will soon place in the grave was basically intended to exchange the stolen 16 billion Liberian dollars with the US dollars for government officials and state criminals.”
He noted that Finance Minister Samuel Tweah has since struggled unsuccessfully to justify the US$25m infusion into the economy because situations that existed for which the money was to be infused in the country’s economy are even getting more horrible.
“Our people are starving and feeling the excruciating pain of hardship across the country, while President Weah and his officials are dangling wealth; building fabulous houses and acquiring properties on a daily basis, and at the same they are peddling lies to the Liberian people,” Gonquoi said
“Over the past few weeks, we have witnessed with utmost disbelief, what can best be classified as complete political drama between former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and the current President George Weah, concerning who created the mess and who is to be blamed for the current economic stagnation Liberia is submerged into, Gonquoi said, explaining that “Upon his return to the country from his unachieved mission at the United Nations General Assembly, which did not yield the country any immediate or future dividend, President Weah responded strongly in an emotionally charged statement to the former president about what he called her inability to have ably handled the country’s economy and as well as her failure to have provided the leadership required for the people of Liberia during her administration.”
Gonquoi said the EFFL has information that the CDC-led government has no intention of pursuing the probe into the LRD16 billion saga to its logical conclusion.
“Having been harsh on the former president and electing to play the blame game and cry baby about the state of affairs of the nation he was given charge to properly manage, which he has not be able to do within 11 months now, thereby plunging the country into an unspeakable economic quagmire, and in the wake of Madam Sirleaf’s transition from the country’ presidency to the board of the IMF, it is our information that the CDC led Government is taking a political poised on the investigation by focusing more on the legality surrounding the printing of the 16 billion Liberian dollars that we strongly believe have been squandered by this government,” he said.
“Our information is that the Weah administration is bent on watering down the probe, and the EFFL has all reasons to believe that the entire investigation regarding this stolen money, has become unaggressive and unarguably, President Weah now lacks the political will to push harder because he and his cronies in the government know exactly what happened to our country’s money.”
“Secondly, we want to let the Liberian people know that the president and his bunch of untruthful officials will refrain from pushing this investigation to its logical conclusion for fear of ex-president Sirleaf’s presence on the IMF board, with the thinking that anything to implicate her in the stolen money saga, could potentially undermine the current president’s administration, as far as that international body’s policy towards his regime would be tilted in the future,” said Gonquoi.
‘International conspiracy’ factors
Gonquoi said they are even more worried about international conspiracy factors as far as the probe into this LRD16 billion saga is concerned, because it absolutely makes no sense to the EFFL, that the IMF that is supposed to be a transparent and anti-corruption friendly financial institution to appoint former president Sirleaf to its board of advisors when the administration she headed is linked to a broad daylight thievery and a complete sabotage of the economy of a struggling third world country as Liberia, which the IMF has over the years concentrated it efforts to helping come out of its developmental backwardness.
“The EFFL wants to state here for the record that by appointing Madam Sirleaf, who is an accused person in a major corruption scandal, does not just validate the wrong move of the Liberian House of Representatives to have prematurely passed a resolution seeking to exclude the former president from these criminal investigations for our country’s money, but that it also brings into question the credibility of the bank’s stance against corruption,” He added.
“The EFFL wishes to bring to the attention of the IMF, that while all is being done to clear Sirleaf’s name even before she can be probed for the stolen 16 billion in Liberian dollars, the man who served her as bank governor when the monies were printed is being investigated. Even though he continues to give conflicting accounts that fundamentally appear that he is the negotiated agreeable sacrificial lamb for the former and current presidents in a smart political calculation, said Gonquoi, pointing out that “For the record, the CBL could not have acted without the knowledge and consent of the former president.
CIC Gonquoi says in the wake of what he referred to as political drama currently unfolding, the EFFL is interested in knowing the identity of the international organizations and individuals that are involved with the investigations so that when these investigations are compromised, what he calls appropriate but radical political steps can be instituted against them.
“The EFFL wishes to inform the IMF that it is of the belief that the President of the United States will not facilitate any act of industrial looting as in the case of what is obtaining with the LRD16 billion in Liberia, and if the USAID hired forensic investigators choose to compromise their credibility in these investigations by colluding in an arranged international conspiracy by not calling a spade a spade and make the chips to fall where they belong, we can act by informing the US Congress or take other drastic actions within the confines of the law, and in accordance with the tenets of democracy,” said Gonquoi, adding, “The EFFL trusts that our international friends will do all in upholding our confidence in them based on our longstanding traditional friendship with the US government and the American people.”
“We look forward to seeing the US investigators reaching nothing but a credible conclusion of these investigations as Liberians hope of having a credible conclusion of this money saga is dying by the day. You can be assured, that the EFFL and the Liberian people will certainly remember organizations and individuals that will help us in recovering our stolen 16 billion dollars, he emphasized.
‘Weak and insensitive government’
Addressing the press conference further, Gonquoi described the Government of Liberia under the leadership of footballer turned politician Weah, as being weak and insensitive to the plights of its citizens, adding that “as if all of the unspeakable hardship and misrule the weak and insensitive Weah-led government is subjecting the Liberian people to are not enough, last weekend, the president and his band of militants considered government officials raged terror, causing bodily injuries to several citizens during the climax of political rally for the just ended Representative by-election in Montserrado County District #13, at which time it was reported that government operatives, including the Major of the City of Monrovia, playful Jefferson Koijee led hooligans carrying cutlasses, gun and other harmful objects.”
The ruling party has however, dismissed reports linking the party or any of its member in government to the bloody electoral clash in Montserrado electoral district #13 last week.
But Gonquoi says the EFFL condemns in the this strongest term the electoral violence and calls on the government to refrain from using what he calls undemocratic means in a democratic process.
“We want to call on Weah and his thugs to order and remind them that what they now have on their hands is the leadership responsibility of the entire nation, and that they are the ruling class and no longer the opposition, that should continue shooting itself in the leg by imploring hooliganism as their most recent memories in opposition are still fresh on the minds of Liberians, Gonquoi stressed.
“Moreover, the EFFL, without mincing words, want to call on the Liberia National Police, the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission and all other integrity institutions in the country, to do the right thing by arresting with immediate effect, everyone linked to the corruption case coming out of the recently leaked audio recording involving the Managing Director of the National Housing Authority (NHA), who is reportedly a cousin to President George Weah,” Gonquoi further told the press conference.
He disclosed that the EFFL is reliably informed that Mr. Duanah Siryon, Managing Director of the NHA was picked up by the police, the LACC and the National Security Agency (NSA) on account of the same leaked audio tape that implicated other top officials of government, including President Weah, with Gonquoi wondering, “what a sad time for our country?”
He argues that if the leaked tape is sufficient enough to have had Mr. Siryon arrested, the EFFL believes on this same basis, it is also prudent to call in the rest of the others linked to this as well, adding, “The selective justice tactics must not work this time around, as the EFFL is watching with eagle-eyes, and any attempt to shield any member of what we believe is a corruption syndicate and not just Mr. Siryon acting alone, will be met with the stiffest of resistance within the ambiance of the laws of the country.”